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Silicon Teens

Silicon Teens were a British virtual electronic new wave pop group. The project was the creation of Mute Records founder Daniel Miller. The "group" were publicised as a quartet with members named Darryl, Jacki, Paul and Diane, but in reality these individuals did not exist and for media interviews their parts were played by actors. The project was launched in 1980 with a sole album called Music For Parties, a collection mostly comprising rock and roll standards from the 1950s and 1960s, played in an upbeat synthpop style. (Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

Peel was a huge fan of the Silicon Teens’ debut single, a synthpop cover of Chuck Berry’s 'Memphis Tennessee,' declaring on his 31 July 1979 show:

“It’s been a week or two since I’ve had a favourite record. I think this could easily be the next.”

Played regularly by Peel during the summer of 1979, the song was among the 40 chosen by the DJ to celebrate his 40th birthday. He also played tracks from the only Silicon Teens album, released the following year.

After Peel’s death, on the TV documentary 'Synth Britannia' (2009), Silicon Teens mastermind Daniel Miller recalled the first time Peel played their debut single, an early release on Miller’s fledgling Mute label:

“I remember I’d given it to him and I was listening to the radio with a couple of friends. He said, “We’ve got three versions of ‘Memphis, Tennessee’ tonight. One is the original; there are two cover versions. One is really terrible and the other one is really great." I thought, “Oh god!” And fortunately he really liked mine. He played it twice. That was one of the biggest moments in my entire career in music.”[1]

Festive Fifty Entries

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Sessions

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Other Shows Played

Silicon Teens - Memphis Tennessee

Silicon Teens - Memphis Tennessee

1979
1980
2000s

External Links

References

  1. Synth Britannia (YouTube), interview from 36.05. It appears that the incident referred to by Miller may have taken place on the show of 30 July 1979, when Peel played the Lonnie Mack guitar instrumental cover version of "Memphis", followed by the Chuck Berry original, played initially at the wrong speed, followed by the Silicon Teens rendition of the same tune. Before playing the three versions, Peel commented that the second (Chuck Berry's) had been "rather appallingly electronically rechannelled" but was "still worth playing, I think, just." Peel also reads out the letter from Daniel Miller that accompanied the Silicon Teens test pressing. From the available audio, which is incomplete, it is not known whether the record was played twice that evening, as later claimed by Miller.
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